Oh God! It’s Deism!

If I believed in God, I’d imagine this to be his human form.

It had been a while since I had seen the John Denver-George Burns masterpiece, Oh God!, and I was surprised by some of the dialogue and God’s attitude. Much (but not all, of course) of what He had to say was rooted in Deism, which says that God created everything, gave us all the tools, and then walked away (i.e., He doesn’t answer prayers about football games). Essentially, it was atheism that couldn’t explain the origins of a lot of things, so those were attributed to a Creator.

Deism was pretty popular amongst the philosophers of the Enlightenment of the 1700s, not only in Europe, but right here in America too. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and James Madison, for example, exhibited heavy Deistic beliefs in their writing and philosophy. It eventually got absorbed by the Unitarian Universalist church, which continues the tradition of rational thought coupled with spiritualism to this day.

I’m not trying to get into a religious argument this morning (or any morning, afternoon or evening for that matter – it’s just not my style), nor am I trying to offend anyone. I’m just pointing out something I noticed that I thought was interesting in pop culture, offered some brief analysis and background, with the hope that someone else might think it’s interesting too.

 

John Denver, left; Scooter, right
And John Denver will always remind me of Scooter the Muppet.

 

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